The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the Internet, often receiving misleading information. We chose Aloe vera for this issue because of its growing popularity among cancer patients. Compiled by Barrie R. The free About Herbs website is managed by K.
The gel found inside the aloe vera plant is made up of water , 20 minerals , 12 vitamins , 18 amino acids and active plant compounds or phytonutrients , which are responsible for the plant's remarkable healing properties. The use of aloe vera topically, to relieve sunburn or painful joints , for example is well known. However, this versatile plant has also been shown to: Halt the growth of cancer tumors Lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure Ease inflammation and soothe arthritis pain Protect the body from oxidative stress Cure ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders Alkalize the body and nourish it with minerals , vitamins and enzymes Accelerate healing from burns Aloe Vera Reduces inflammation and Boosts the immune system Aloe has been found to ease the inflammation of joints , including reducing arthritis pain, when used both topically and internally. One study found that people who drank aloe vera for two weeks began to experience a significant reduction of inflammation symptoms. Aloe vera contains acemannan , a natural immune booster. Studies have also shown that when aloe is taken internally it can stimulate and regulate the immune system by stopping inflammation and cutting off the blood supply of tumors.
Many of the anti-cancer agents currently used have an origin in natural sources including plants. Aloe vera is one such plant being studied extensively for its diverse health benefits, including cancer prevention. In this study, the cytotoxic potential of Aloe vera crude extract ACE alone or in combination with cisplatin in human breast MCF-7 and cervical HeLa cancer cells was studied by cell viability assay, nuclear morphological examination and cell cycle analysis. Effects were correlated with modulation of expression of genes involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and drug metabolism by RT-PCR. Exposure of cells to ACE resulted in considerable loss of cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent fashion, which was found to be mediated by through the apoptotic pathway as evidenced by changes in the nuclear morphology and the distribution of cells in the different phases of the cell cycle.
Aloe is a plant-based therapy that some people use to treat side effects affecting the skin caused by cancer and its treatment. There is not enough reliable evidence to be sure that it works. The aloe plant is from the lily family. It is from West Africa but is now a common household plant in many countries.